Maquoketa's Codfish Hollow Barn kicks off its summer season with rocking tunes and rollicking laughs on June 1 and 2, as the venue and Moeller Nights present more than a dozen acts in the Turnbuckle II Comedy & Music Festival, described on the venue's Web site as a weekend with “the greatest stand-up comedians in America and the choicest fun-loving rock and roll bands, along with the exploits of elbow-throwing, spandex-trunk-wearing professional wrestlers.”

Praised by for “using her mordant wit to confront serious subjects, exorcising trauma with hooks and humor,” alternative-folk singer/songwriter Caroline Rose performs a June 4 Redstone Room concert in support of her February release LONER – a recording that, according to Paste magazine, “is a singular artistic statement from its unforgettable album art all the way down.”

“Ever wonder what a traditional lounge singer would sound like backed up by a punk band?” asked the Los Angeles Times. “The Smoking Popes take that concept one step further: They've created a unique kind of music that some listeneres are describing as 'hyperkinetic tear-jerkers.'” That description is as accurate today as it was during the band's early-'90s beginnings, as The Smoking Popes will prove when the pop-punk and alt-rock musicians play Davenport's Redstone Room on June 1.

Lauded by The Guardian for her “grinding blues, sleazy jazz, and bracing rock with punk immediacy and pop appeal,” Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Shilpa Ray headlines a Moeller Nights concert on May 26, her signature vocal style described by the Star-Ledger as a “big-voiced blues-rock howler,” and summed up in four words by the New York Times: “That scream is primal!”

Known for both his individual alt-rock compositions and as half of the Brooklyn-based pop/rock duo KaiselCartel, singer/songwriter Benjamin Cartel performs a solo concert at the Rock Island venue Rozz-Tox on May 24, his 2015 album Gothenberg leading American Songwriter magazine to state, “Your heart will be haunted by the tunes, your mind will wonder about those complex lyrics, and you’ll soon be a fan.”

One of the most original forces in American music makes an eagerly anticipated May 19 appearance at the Rock Island Brewing Company, as the venue hosts a night with Tav Falco's Panther Burns, the blues and roots rockers who will soon enter their fifth decade of live performance. Its frontman was described by Robert Palmer in the New York Times as “a singer, guitarist, and researcher of musical arcane who hasn't let his idiomatic mastery and increasing technical expertise compromise the clarity of his vision.” Variety's Deb Sprague, meanwhile, said of Falco: “He was post-modern when post-modern wasn't cool.”

Although there won't be any stage musicals presented between the May 12 closing of The Church Basement Ladies in “Rise Up, O Men” and the May 23 opening of The Bridges of Madison County, the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse will hardly spend that period tune-free. Instead, the Rock Island venue will deliver concert extravaganzas in May 16's Dream Lover: A Salute to the Music of Babby Darin and May 17's Man in Black: The Music of Johnny Cash – a pair of special touring events with noted singer Robert Shaw portraying the iconic headliners of both productions.

Described by the New York Times as an “idiosyncratic traditionalist” and “a sharp and surprising country singer,” country-music crooner, guitarist, and mandolin player Elizabeth Cook headlines a Redstone Room concert on May 23, the artist's most recent album Exodus of Venus lauded by American Songwriter magazine as “Cook's finest, most riveting and intensely personal work.”

Appearing locally in support of their latest album, an 11-track LP released on April 28, the 10-piece soul and R&B ensemble The Nightowls headline a Moeller Nights concert on May 18, their recent We Are the Nightowls demonstrating why described their “big band music and old-school swing” as a “unique flavor of pure musical enjoyment.”

OHMME, May 18

Praised by the Chicago Tribune for their “freewheeling, curious, and fun spit” and their “perfectly harmonized vocals,” the alternative-rock musicians of OHMME headline a Daytrotter concert on May 18 in advance of their forthcoming album debut and in support of their self-titled EP, a recording that Blurt magazine lauded for its “odd, intriguing balance between pretty melody and confrontation.”